You Should Know About These Credit Score Changes for 2020

two gears representative of your credit score

It’s an exciting time to talk about some innovative credit score changes for 2019. Historically, your credit score has been based solely on your payment history on things like mortgage and auto loans, student loans and credit cards. That is, until now.

The launch of two credit score changes allows you, as a consumer, to influence your credit. By using good payment history on things like bank transactions and utility bills, you will be able to positively affect your score. And lenders benefit too by having additional data to evaluate your creditworthiness. We’ll show you a comprehensive look at these credit score changes as possible options to help you grow your credit score.

Credit Score Change #1: UltraFICO

Thanks to a new innovative scoring model called UltraFICO, your credit score may see an increase. UltraFICO was developed by Fair Isaac Corporation, the creator of the popular FICO score, alongside credit bureau “Experian”, and financial leader “Finicity”. It was launched early in 2019 as a pilot program.

How does UltraFICO work?

UltraFICO allows you to take advantage of your banking information to increase your credit score. If you are denied a loan or a credit card, the lender may offer you a chance to leverage the activity in your checking, savings, and money markets accounts. This supplemental data can positively influence where your current credit history lacks. UltraFICO is meant to boost your credit calculation, by using this additional information.

Person taking money out of their checking account

When would I be offered UltraFICO?

  • The lender is using an Experian credit score (since this service is only for Experian credit reports)
  • If you would be denied the loan or credit card otherwise
  • Your score could benefit by putting you in a higher score range*

*If you already have an excellent credit score, you won’t be offered UltraFICO. But if your score falls in the 500-600 range, UltraFICO might be a way for your score to increase and allow you to successfully get the loan or credit card you want.

How do I know if I would benefit from UltraFICO?

This credit score change is helpful if you are a new borrower. Perhaps you are young and starting out and your credit history is brief . Or, maybe you’ve chosen to not take out loans or use credit cards. Additionally, UltraFICO can help if you’ve found yourself in an unfavorable situation where your credit score has taken a hit. By granting access to your savings and checking account information, you may have an easier time qualifying for loans that you wouldn’t be approved for normally.

Looking at the UltraFICO app on a smartphone

In order to benefit from UltraFICO, you must manage your money well in your checking, savings, and money market accounts. According to FICO, you would most likely benefit from the new scoring model if you meet the following:

  • Have at least a $400 balance in your checking, savings or money market account
  • No overdraft withdrawals within the last three months
  • Having an account open for a long period of time
  • Demonstrate frequent transaction history

Credit Score Change #2: Experian Boost

For 2019, credit agency Experian announced a new service called Experian Boost. This opt-in program would allow you to supplement your existing credit report with non-traditional payment history, specifically your cable, cellphone and utility payments.

Calculator with bills

How does it work?

  1. You sign up on Experian to opt-in to Experian Boost.
  2. You connect your bank accounts.
  3. Verify the positive payment history you want added to your credit file.

Experian Boost differs from UltraFICO in that Experian Boost adds data to your credit report file. UltraFICO only uses data in the calculation of your credit score.

Would I benefit from using Experian Boost?

Similar to UltraFICO, you may benefit from utilizing Experian Boost if your credit history is lean or if your credit score is poor. Before now, you might have to find a cosigner to apply for loans or credit. And, you’ve had a hard time getting approved with an affordable rate. Now you can leverage some financial history to demonstrate you can handle that new loan or credit card.

Magnifying glass showing the big picture of your credit score

The bigger picture.

Only time will tell just how good these new changes are. There are some risks. First, you disclose personal information when you opt-in to UltraFICO or Experian Boost. The way in which you share your bank information is fairly secure, but as with any data, it does pose a potential for a data breech.

Second, your banking information may not demonstrate an improved financial picture. If you tend to spend more than you save, you may have difficulty getting a loan.

In conclusion, make sure you are comfortable in sharing additional personal information before enrolling in either Experian Boost or UltraFICO. Also, be certain your payment history for utilities and your banking transactions are in great shape. It’s an exciting time of change. Do you think you’ll use either to boost your credit score?